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Midlothian Attractions

Midlothian is also on the boundary of Edinburgh and has many attractions.

Castles, Mansion Houses, Museums and Country Parks.


Dalhousie Castle,  Oxenfoord Castle Borthwick Castle, Crichton Castle

 Dalkeith Palace, Newbattle Abbey Melville Castle and Arniston House. 

Rosslyn Chapel, Roslin Castle National Mining Museum

Corn Exchange Museum   Vogrie House and Country Park,  

Dalkeith Country Park  Dalkeith Museum, St Nicholas Church

Dalkeith Tolbooth, Stewarts Brewery  Water Tower House 

Robert Burns Fountain  Cousland Smiddy, Cousland Castle Ruins

Temple Village Midlothian  Penicuik House, Pentland Hills Dryden Tower

Bilston Glen Miners Memorial  Canter by Andy Scott Bush Estate  Hillend Ski Slop


The Ramsay (de Ramesie) family of Dalhousie (Dalwolsie) Castle Have been owners of the Castle and Lands since Coming from Huntingdon with David I in 1140. There is evidence that the Castle was first built circa 1230. The Ramsay family have been linked to many famous times, at the Battle of Bannockburn 1314, the signing of the declaration of Arbroath 1320, the siege of Dunbar in 1338, the Battle of Flodden Field 1513 and the Gowrie conspiracy of 1600, Dalhousie Castle was sold by the Ramsay’s in 1972 and has been a Hotel since. Many of the original parts to the Castle still remain and is a unique place to stay or have a wedding.

Dalhousie Castle Midlothian

DALHOUSIE Birds of Prey

A truly unique experience that is available at Dalhousie Castle is the Falconry area where there are many birds of prey. Kestrels, Owls, Hawks and Eagles. Have one fly to your gloved hand something that is unforgettable.  

Birds of Prey Dalhousie



The original Vogrie house was built circa 1870 by James Dewar the whisky distiller and opened as a country park in 1980. Vogrie House like many old mansions and castle is said to be haunted. A property has been on the site since early 15th century when the Menzies family were owners. 

A truly magnificent area to have a day out. There is an adventure play area and toddlers play park, a miniature railway, guided nature walks, Café, many country paths for walking, cycling or horse riding.


Vogrie Park Midlothian Giants Chairs

Vogrie Park Midlothian Gigantic Bicycle

Vogrie Park Midlothian Vogrie House

Vogrie House Golf course.

Vogrie Segway Adventure Trail

Vogrie House Midlothian,
Children's Play Area and adventure park
Children's Play Area and adventure park


Crichton Castle was built by Thomas de Crichton (Thomas de Kreitton) circa 1260. The castle still stands all be it a ruin. The Crichton family had one of the first baronies near Edinburgh was formed from the lands of Kreitton and is mentioned in charters of the early 12th century.

Crichton Castle Midlothian


Borthwick Castle, is one of the best preserved Tower Houses in Scotland.  Built circa 1430 by Sir William de Borthwick. It was built on the previous the Mote of Locherwart. Built in the 13th century by the Locherwart.

Borthwick Castle Midlothian


George Dundas, 16th Laird of Dundas Castle, and his wife Katherine bought the land in 1571 for their son James. At that time a Tower House stood on the lands. The mansion House that can be seen today was designed by William Adam. The only part of the old tower that remains is the Oak Room. The Mansion took almost 10 years to complete circa 1730 and is said to be “one of the most important Georgian country houses in Scotland”. 

James Dundas was born in 1570 and was educated at St. Andrew's University. He died in 1628 and is buried within the vestry Borthwick Church. His son Sir James Dundas became 1st Lord of Arniston 1620 - 1679 his son Robert Dundas 2nd Lord Arniston 1650 – 1726, Robert Dundas 3rd Lord Arniston, 1685 – 1783, Henry Dundas born 1742 1st Viscount Melville 18th child of 19 to Robert Dundas 3rd Lord Arniston step brother to Robert Dundas 4th Lord Arniston. Henry Dundas was to become the most powerful person in Britain. He died in his bed in Melville Castle 29 May 1811 and was buried in Lasswade Parish church. Robert Dundas 4th Lord Arniston, 1713 – 1787, Robert Dundas 5th Lord Arniston

(6th June 1758 died 17 June 1819). The title continued as Baronet from 1898 until the death of the last male heir, Thomas Calderwood Dundas who died in 1970 when the title died out. The present owner Althea Dundas-Bekker.

Arniston House Midlothian



Newbattle Abbey a Cistercian Monastery was founded in 1140 by King David I. Newbattle Abbey was also where a council of Nobles met in 1320 and drafted a parchment (letter) to Pope John XXII asking him to recognise Scotland’s independence as a country and acknowledge Robert the Bruce as the lawful king. (The letter was, The Declaration of Arbroath). Mark Kerr made the old Abbey into a family home after taking it from the Monk in 1560. The Kerr Family were an important and influential family in Scotland becoming the Earls of Lothian and in 1701 the Marquis of Lothian.

It was in the Kerr family until the 1930s when Newbattle Abbey was changed to an adult residential college.

In 1937it was gifted to the people of Scotland.

Newbattle Abbey Midlothian



The original section of the church was built in the early 15th century

Sir James Douglas (The Black Douglas), 1st Earl of Morton, and his wife Princess Joanna, daughter of James I are the effigies on the tomb next to the door to the Buccleuch Burial Vault. Look up at the gargoyles on the church walls.

St Nicholas Church  Ruins and Vaults
St Nicholas Church Gargoyle Midlothian
(The Black Douglas) and wife

Melville Castle 

Melville Castle named after the first owner Galfrid De Melville Circa 1150. Melville Castle was also said to have been for a time owned by David Rizzio and Mary Queen of Scots often visited. Other Royals that have visited the castle are George IV in 1828 and in 1842 Queen Victoria visited Melville Castle when she was on her

tour of Scotland. 

It is said that a ghost has been seen on many occasions and it is thought to be

Queen Mary looking for David Rizzio. 

Melville Castle can be found at the very east end of Gilmerton Road at Melville Gate on the road to Dalkeith.

The Dundas family crest which can be seen above the main entrance to Melville Castle












Melville Castle Coat of Arms Midlothian
Melville Castle Midlothian


Original owners were the Grahams Lord William de Graham, of Abercorn and Dalkeith was first of the Graham family mentioned living in Dalkeith where he died in 1139.

The Castle was destroyed in 1547 by an English Army.

It then became the Douglas family stronghold. It was finally sold to the Buccleuch family in circa 1640.

James Douglas 4th Earl of Morton who became the

Regents of Scotland in 1572 ruled Scotland on behalf of

James VI infant son of Mary Queen of Scots.

There has been many occupiers of what was Dalkeith Castle renamed circa 1700. No less than in 1650, Oliver Cromwell's Commander, General Monk, Cromwell's Governor in Scotland made Dalkeith Palace his headquarters. The Earl of Morton was executed 1581 in Edinburgh on the Maiden a guillotine which stood at the foot of the Canongate which was said he had brought up from England.

(can be seen in National Museum of Scotland)

The Duke of Buccleuch is still the owner of the estate.

Dalkeith Palace Midlothian

The Orangery at Dalkeith Palace was built circa 1830 at the time it was the state of the art Orangery with under-floor heating and it provided fresh fruit for the Palace.

Dalkeith Palace Orangery

The Water Tower was constructed for the Edinburgh Water Company in 1879. It is an octagonal polychrome brick water tower it was no longer required and was left empty form around 1946. Gerry Goldwyre and his wife purchased the Water Tower and converted it into a home. In 1994 Gerry won MasterChef. 

Dalkeith Water Tower


The Dalkeith Corn Exchange was built in 1854 and was the largest corn market in Scotland’s. The Corn Exchange was also where both Gladstone and Churchhill both made speeches, it later became a ballroom where up to 800 could dance the night away. It now houses the museum for Dalkeith, managed by the Dalkeith History Society. The public entrance to the museum is in St Andrew Street which is at the back of the building.

Dalkeith Corn Exchange Midlothian

The last Man Hung in Dalkeith was William Thomson on March 1, 1827. Sentenced to hang for highway robbery a large crowd gathered in front of the Tolbooth see the hanging which lasted circa 45 minutes. Leaving William Thomson Hanging for around 30 minutes to ensure he was dead. The last hanging in Scotland took place in Aberdeen in 1963 a Henry John Burnett. 

Dalkeith Tolbooth Midlothian
Last Hanging in Dalkeith


The Burns Memorial Drinking Fountain was commissioned in 1896 by the Dalkeith Burns Club to mark the centenary of the death of Robert Burns and was paid for by the residents of Dalkeith. It was erected in Dalkeith’s High Street in 1899 and moved locations on several occasions but has now been returned to the High Street. 

The structure has four columns with a domed canopy. Known locally as the “Burns Monument”, it was not in fact installed until 1899 and, for many years after, was one of the main focal points in Dalkeith High Street.

Dalkeith Burns Memorial Drinking Fountain.JPG
Burns Drinking Fountain Plaque


​Roslin Castle is only 200 yards from Rosslyn Chapel the castle has been forgotten about but is worth a visit​ now a partial ruin it was originally built circa 1300 and has had a very turbulent history. There are stories of ghosts on horseback and a hound that prowls the woods around the castle.


Henry Sinclair was born in Roslin Castle in 1345 and it is claimed that he travelled to lands west of the large ocean in 1398 making him the first to discover the Americas, Henry Sinclair was Lord of Shetland, 1st Earl of Orkney, Baron of Roslin and Grand Master Knights Templar. The Sinclair family were world travellers and fought in battles worldwide. When Henry Sinclair and his men were in the Americas one of the party Sir James Gunn died and a grave stone was carved and placed in his memory. This stone still remains now known as Prospect Hill, located in Westford, Massachusetts. This is known as the Westford Knight.

Roslin Castle Midlothian


The Cousland Smiddy (Blacksmiths) on this site since circa 1700 attached a butt ‘n’ ben circa 1735 a small place to live.  A later Blacksmiths cottage circa 1820 and a new workshop circa 1940.

Cousland Smithy Midlothian


The Earl and Countess of Rosslyn are the present owners of Rosslyn Chapel which was founded by their descendants in 1446. It has been brought to the attention of the world by the book and film The Da Vinci Code. Visit the chapel and grounds and take the tour which will tell you all about Rosslyn Chapel.

Rosslyn Chapel Midlothian

Old Rosslyn Inn

Next to Rosslyn Chapel was a resting place for travellers

There has been many notable travellers stayed the night including

Edward VII, Robert Burns, Walter Scott, William Wordsworth and his wife, Alexander Naysmith and Dr Johnson and James Boswell

Old Rosslyn Inn
Old Rosslyn Inn Plaque


The National Coal Mining Museum opened in 1984. The Lady Victoria Colliery, was first mined in 1895.

It closed its production in 1981. The Lady Victoria Colliery is the best preserved Victorian collier in Europe a place to see what people had to endure to bring coal to people's homes.

Scottish National Mining Museum.


Stands on the summit of a hill which gives views as far as the Forth Estuary. Dryden Tower built circa 1850 by the owners of Dryden House (Demolished) was for viewing their lands and shipping moving up and down the Firth of Forth.

Dryden Tower Midlothian


The historic village of Temple, headquarters in Scotland of the Knights Templar from 1153 to circa 1310. The old Kirk is built prior to 1153. The village was originally known as Balantrodoch before 1570. It is known that King David I of Scotland, granted the manor and chapel of Balantrodoch to the Order of the Knights Templar in 1153. Old gravestones showing carved symbols of skull and crossbones, associated with death and the Knights Templar.  Others gravestone carvings, the trowel and egg timer, and the symbol of the compass and set square are associate with the Freemasons

The Lothian Bridge has 23 arches which spans the River Esk. The Lothian Bridge Viaduct was built to join collieries in 1847 and carried the rail line from Edinburgh to Carlisle before closing in 1972. It is now being used for the Border railway linking Edinburgh with the Scottish Borders.

The sculpture of a horse with a small boy on its back and a miner leading the Pit Pony in memory of all the miners that worked in the pits from childhood. 

Loanhead Boy on o Pit Pony


The original Tower House was inherited by Lady Dalrymple in 1799. Robert Adam, design a larger mansion house incorporating the Tower House at that time.  The tower house built in the 12th century. The property was owned by the Dalrymple’s of Stair in 1760. It was used as a girls’ private boarding school for over 50 years and closed in 1984. It is now a private residence of the Dalrymple family. The castle can be booked for Private & Corporate Events and Weddings.

Oxenfoord Castle Midlothian
Bilston Glen Miners Memorial

Bilston Glen was a monster of coal mining, which began in the area circa 1685.  At its height of production there was circa 2000 workers with up to a million tons of coal per year. 
The memorial in the centre of Loanhead is to the miners who died in the production of coal.

Loanhead Industrial Memorial

Midlothian Activities that include

All year round

Skiing and Snow Boarding

Zorbing, Golf, Falconry, Segway, Miniature Railway 

Cycling, Horse Riding, 

Fort George Adventure Park

and 4 golf courses


The Grounds of Penicuik House were in the same family for over 300 years. The Barony of Penicuik was acquired by John Clerk in 1654. The first house being Newbigging House which was demolished in 1761 and the present house Penicuik House was built.  The house was extended with two large wings in 1857. Sadly a fire left the house as a ruin on the 16 June 1899. The only option was to convert the Stables to a new house in 1900. Penicuik House Preservation Trust (PHPT) has now restored the original Penicuik House that was burnt down in 1899 to its external magnificence. 

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